Why You Need a BI Roadmap

Businesspeople analyzing a graphHave you been tasked with creating a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) solution? Jumping into a BI implementation all at once can be like driving to an out-of-state business conference without a roadmap — you’re likely to get lost along the way, and you might not end up at your intended destination.

According to Gartner, 70% to 80% of BI projects fail. The main reasons behind this failure include:

  • Investing in the wrong BI technologies. There are numerous options from which to choose from, which can often be overwhelming. Some companies unintentionally invest in BI technologies that aren’t designed to solve the types of problems they’re facing.
  • Waiting until the full solution is implemented before letting anyone use it. It can take several months to years to complete a BI implementation, which is a long time to wait before seeing any results.
  • Using BI technologies often requires a steep learning curve, which impedes user adoption. As a result, some companies never see a return on their investment.

With such a high failure rate, many companies don’t even want to try implementing a cloud BI solution. And for those companies that do decide to try it, the people in charge are usually anxious at the prospect of losing their jobs if the project does not produce results.

Where to start

So how do you ensure that your company is one of the few that succeeds? You need to start by creating a roadmap that shows how to get to your destination, one step at a time.

To create this roadmap, Arisant starts with a discovery process. It uses a proprietary assessment model to identify a company’s business needs and its short-term and long-term business goals. This process can bring to light any problems that might be preventing your company from reaching those goals — in many cases, the decision makers aren’t even aware of these problems.

The discovery process also helps you select the BI technologies best suited to meet your goals. Without a clear goal in mind, selecting the best BI technologies can be a shot in the dark. It’s like being tempted to get a sleek, two-seater sports car until you realize that you’ll need to take your daughter and all her friends to school each morning. With this information in mind, you’ll know that buying an SUV will better suit your needs.

The roadmap to success

Because building a cloud BI solution is a huge undertaking, the roadmap needs to break the project into small, manageable pieces. If you build the foundation, and implement the functionality one piece at a time, employees won’t have to wait for a year or more to see results. They can start using the solution within short order.

The roadmap helps you implement an action plan that allows you to progressively reap results rather than waiting until the full solution has been perfected.

This approach gives you the flexibility to make adjustments to your BI solution along the way to meet changing business needs. In addition, the learning curve isn’t nearly as steep for users because they can learn how to use the solution’s functionality gradually rather than all at once.

Avoid the pitfalls

Creating a roadmap that breaks the BI project into manageable pieces eliminates the pitfalls that doom many BI implementations. Equally important, it creates an environment in which the BI solution is always adapting to your business as your business needs change.

This approach can minimize your anxiety about implementing a failing BI solution. With the right direction, and a little flexibility, you can bring world-class BI to your organization without fear.

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